Birch firewood: Birch is the no 1 firewood in therms of thermal energy.

Kase küttepuud

In Estonia and in many other countries, Birch firewood is a highly valued fuel combining high quality, good availability and excellent combustion properties. Birch is known for its clean and long-lasting combustion, making it an ideal choice for home heating. In this article, we will compare the characteristics of birch firewood with other common species and highlight why birch is a particularly favoured choice for many homeowners.

The benefits of birch firewood

Clean burning

Birch firewood burns relatively cleanly, producing little soot and smoke. This feature makes birch an ideal choice for those who value cleanliness in their heating appliances and in the general living environment. Compared to many other types of trees, such as pine or spruce, birch emits less soot when heated, which helps to prevent chimney clogging and reduces the need for chimney sweep services.

Clean combustion is important for several reasons that affect people's health, the quality of the living environment and the longevity of the heating system. The cleaner combustion of birch firewood brings a number of benefits, making it the preferred choice for many consumers.

People's health and quality of life

Cleaner-burning fuels, such as birch firewood, significantly reduce indoor pollutants such as soot and volatile organic compounds that can affect respiratory health and general well-being. This is particularly important for young children, the elderly and people with respiratory diseases, whose health may be more sensitive to airborne pollutants. Clean combustion also means less unpleasant odours both indoors and outdoors, thus improving the quality of the living environment.

Longevity of heaters and chimneys

Cleaner combustion means less soot and pitch in heaters and chimneys. Soot and pitch can build up over time, reducing the efficiency and safety of heating equipment. Excessive sooting also increases the risk of fire, as soot build-up can ignite and cause chimney fires. Therefore, using cleaner burning birch firewood can reduce the need for chimney sweep services, prolong the life of heating appliances and ensure home safety.

Environmental impact

Cleaner combustion of birch firewood reduces air pollution, an important aspect of preserving and protecting the environment. Less soot and smoke means less air pollutants, which helps reduce the risk of acid rain and other air pollution problems. This in turn supports the health and diversity of ecosystems and contributes to climate change mitigation.

Optimizing heating costs

Cleaner-burning trees, such as birch firewood, can also help to optimise heating costs as they burn more efficiently and release more heat. This means that the desired heat can be achieved with less fuel, reducing heating costs in the long term.

All in all, choosing birch firewood, can also help to optimise heating costs as they burn more efficiently and release more heat. This means that the desired heat can be achieved with less fuel, reducing heating costs in the long term.

High thermal value

Birch firewood is known for its high thermal value, which means that it emits a lot of heat. This makes birch wood an efficient heating material, allowing you to heat your home with less wood. Compared to alder, for example, although alder is also a good fuel, birch is generally considered to be warmer and more energy dense.

Long combustion time

Birch wood is dense and hard, which ensures a long and even burn. This is a big advantage, especially on cold winter nights when you want the fire to stay in the stove as long as possible without needing to add more fuel. Compared to soft woods such as aspen, the burning time of birch firewood is significantly longer.

Comparison with other three species

When we talk about the heat values of wood species and their combustion properties in numerical terms, it should be noted that heat values are usually expressed in megajoules (MJ) per kilogram. The exact heat value depends on a number of factors, including wood species, moisture content and density. Here is a rough comparison of the most common wood species used for heating in Estonia:

  • Mänd ja Kuusk: Need pehmed puuliigid omavad ligikaudu 15-17 MJ/kg soojusväärtust kuiva puidu kohta. Nende kiire põlemise ja kõrge soojuse eraldumise tõttu sobivad need puuliigid lühiajaliseks kütmiseks, kuid nende põlemisel tekkiv suurem tahma ja suitsu hulk võib olla miinuseks.
  • Alder and Aspen: These hardwoods offer a calorific value of around 14-16 MJ/kg, which is slightly lower than softwood species. The cleaner combustion of these species makes them a good choice for spring or autumn heating when intensive heat is not required.
  • Oak: Oak firewood is known for its high calorific value, which can reach 18-24 MJ/kg. Oak burns very long and intensively, making it an excellent choice for long-term heating. The higher calorific value and long combustion time of oak compensate for the more complex preparation process.
  • Birch: Birch has a calorific value of between 16 and 19 MJ/kg, combining good heat release and cleaner combustion. Birch firewood is a well-balanced choice, suitable for both intensive and moderate heating, offering a good heat-to-burn ratio.

It should be noted that these numbers are approximate and may vary depending on the moisture content and quality of the specific wood. When choosing firewood, it is important to consider both the thermal value and the combustion properties to find the most suitable option for your needs.


Birch firewood offers an excellent combination of clean burning, high thermal value and long combustion time, making it an ideal choice for home heating. Compared to other wood species, birch firewood offers a balanced solution in terms of heat, burn time and maintenance needs. By choosing birch firewood, you are investing in a clean, efficient and pleasant heating solution that will provide warmth and comfort for your home. You can find out more about our products here.